8 ways to prevent heartburn 

The healthy acids that are naturally produced are meant to remain in the stomach. But when they travel upwards where it shouldn’t be, then you get heartburn. Here are eight ways you can prevent that from happening. 

Heartburn occurs when the LES (Lower Esophageal Sphincter) – the circular ring of tissues separating your stomach from the food pipe weakens, allowing the healthy acids to seep up till the throat.

Healthy stomach versus when suffering from Heartburn
A healthy stomach versus when suffering from heartburn

Suffering from occasional heartburn after eating a heavy meal is something you shouldn’t be worried about. 

But, when the same sensation is persistent for a few days, then the same heartburn can turn into a condition called GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease) that needs a visit to your doctors

Untreated heartburn can lead to severe medical conditions such as painful ulcers, aspiration pneumonia, and an increased risk of oesophageal cancer.

Here are 8 ways to prevent heartburn

1) Avoid eating food that can trigger heartburn 

By far, anything spicy, fried, and fatty are the worst foods for causing heartburn. Fries, onion, carbonated drinks and beverages, traditional spicy food, coffee, and certain teas aggravate acid reflux. 

Certain cooking oil and butter can pose particular concerns as triggers for heartburn. 

And although antacids can give you instant relief, avoiding spicy and heavy meals can definitely help in the long run, especially when avoiding eating them at dinner. 

2) Avoid drinking excessive alcohol 

Excessive alcohol has a direct effect on heartburn. There are several ways alcohol can trigger heartburn symptoms. 

Alcohol increases the sensitivity of the stomach tissue; it relaxes the stomach muscles, all leading to heartburn. A study has also found that the increase in alcohol consumption posed a more significant threat to GERD. 

3) Stop smoking

Smoking causes a reduction in saliva, a naturally occurring acid-neutralising agent that fights the effects of heartburn. 

Smoking also tells the body to release more acid, including gastric juices, and dry up the mucus – the protective layer that would otherwise create a neutral pH gradient in the stomach. 

4) Avoid fatty food 

When you consume fatty food, such as fatty meat in a large meal, it takes a lot of time to digest, meaning it stays in your stomach longer. The more you eat them, the more the chances are to suffer from heartburn. 

5) Avoid caffeinated drinks 

If you’re prone to heartburn, your doctor might discourage you from consuming caffeinated drinks such as coffee and some forms of tea. 

Although there is no evidence that coffee can aggravate GERD, a study has found that coffee intake may become a risk factor for GERD. 

If you’re worried, switch to decaffeinated coffee and avoid flavors such as peppermint in your tea. 

6) Adapt more healthy ways of eating 

Experts suggest that eating smaller meals and taking the time to eat your meals slower can prevent heartburn symptoms. 

They insist on adopting healthy ways of eating, such as avoiding eating fried food, late-night snacks, and food that causes heartburn or gas. 

7) Maintain a healthy weight 

Excess weight increases abdominal pressure, likely causing more acid leakage from the stomach. And just like many, the risk of heartburn and GERD are significantly reduced by maintaining a healthy weight.

8) Exercise regularly 

Moderate and low-impact exercise is considered beneficial for reducing the symptoms of heartburn. 

Certain activities like walking, running, yoga, swimming are excellent. 

At the same time, if you happen to suffer from heartburn, you will need to avoid activities that involve a lot of strenuous work until your heartburn goes away.